SUNDANCE 2021 PART TWO: THE PINK CLOUD, SABAYA, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD, STRAWBERRY MANSION

My second dispatch from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival contains capsule reviews of Iuli Gerbase’s The Pink Cloud, Hogir Hirori‘s Sabaya, Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri’s The Most Beautiful Boy In The World and Albert Birney and Kentucker Audley’s Strawberry Mansion.

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SUNDANCE 2021 PART ONE: ONE FOR THE ROAD, CODA, LUZZU, SUMMER OF SOUL

My first dispatch from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival contains capsule reviews of Baz Poonpiriya’s One For The Road, Siân Heder’s CODA, Alex Camilleri’s Luzzu and Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson‘s Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised).

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A CONVERSATION WITH FREDERICK WISEMAN

My November conversation with the legendary Frederick Wiseman is part of the Coolidge Corner Theatre’s satellite programming for the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Discussing his latest masterpiece City Hall, the filmmaker reflects on the heroism of local government and the madness of Donald Trump. Also, I got to tell Fred about Four Seasons Total Landscaping.Coolidge Corner Theatre, 01/29/2021

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YOU WILL DIE AT AT TWENTY

“There’s probably no way I wasn’t going to fall hard for a picture in which a boozy projectionist teaches a kid life lessons by showing him old movies. Nevertheless, it’s impossible not to be moved by Abu Alala’s belief in art as a liberating force, and all the ways books, music and cinema can work as keys to unlocking the prisons in which we’re born.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 01/29/2021

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OUR FRIEND

“The whole movie looks like it takes place inside a catalog. Yet, depending on your tolerance for sun-dappled montages in which characters ‘live, laugh, love’ to what must have been exorbitantly expensive Led Zeppelin songs, the film goes down surprisingly easily. There’s a Hallmark-y comfort-food quality to Our Friend, but don’t expect it to tell you the truth.” – North Shore Movies, 01/21/2021

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IDENTIFYING FEATURES

“Valadez sidesteps the hard-hitting Sicario style one might expect for such a story in favor of something dreamier and more abstract. There are some images here that will sear themselves into your brain. Everything in the film feels as forlorn as the hollowed-out ghost town Magdalena and Miguel discover where a vibrant community used to be.” – North Shore Movies, 01/21/2021

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THE CLIMB

“To watch The Climb is to remember that comedy can indeed still be directed. The camera works as a partner here with the performers. Director Covino has conceptualized these scenes as complex physical experiences purposely playing around with the audience’s POV to sometimes sublime ends. It is, for lack of a better word, cinema.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 01/19/2021

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LOCKED DOWN

“Screenwriter Knight smartly caters the role to everything at which Hathaway excels. Linda is type-A, buttoned-up and wild at heart, over-talking her way through sanctimonious speeches with a rigid physicality that keeps getting distracted and going all slinky whenever her lusty eyes light up. I’d kill to see her play Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.” – North Shore Movies, 01/15/2021

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